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Get bonus points or cash back on your next cruise with new, targeted Amex Offers

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 10/16/2020 Victoria M. Walker
a large ship in a body of water © Provided by The Points Guy
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If you’re considering booking a cruise soon, you’re going to want to check out these offers from American Express. There are several new Amex Offers available that’ll let you score bonus Membership Rewards points — or cash back — for putting your purchase on the right credit card.

Here’s what you need to know.

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Celebrity Cruises

There are two new Amex Offers for Celebrity Cruises out today. The first is for 12,500 Amex points after spending $500 or more from now through the end of 2020. TPG values Amex points at 2 cents each, making this offer worth $250. TPG Senior Editor Nick Ewen spotted this offer on his Platinum Card® from American Express and his Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.

Screengrab from Amex © The Points Guy Screengrab from Amex

The second offer is a cashback one, providing $125 back after spending $500 or more, which Ewen found on his American Express® Gold Card.

Regardless of which one you choose, the terms explicitly state that you must book via celebrity.com/amex, by calling 1-844-530-3783, by using the Celebrity app, or by leveraging a travel professional. In addition, even though Celebrity is part of the Royal Caribbean Group, this offer does not apply to other lines under that corporate umbrella — including Royal Caribbean, Azamara and Silversea.

Vote now for your favorite cruise lines in the 2020 TPG Awards!

Bear in mind that Celebrity has canceled sailings through at least Nov. 30 at the time of writing, so this offer is most applicable to future cruises in 2021 (or beyond). In addition, you’ll want to make sure to hit the spending amount required prior to Dec. 31. An initial deposit may not be enough.

But is there risk to booking a new cruise now? Well, going into the coronavirus crisis, all the major cruise companies were in great financial condition, as TPG Cruise Writer Gene Sloan has noted. With solid profits and lots of valuable assets — most notably their ships — the cruise lines could pledge them as collateral when raising new capital.

“The strength of our balance sheet, our assets and our brands has been evident during this pandemic as we raised approximately $6.5 billion in new liquidity since we announced the suspension of our global cruise operations,” Royal Caribbean’s CFO Jason Liberty noted during the company’s August conference call with analysts.

READ MORE: A beginner’s guide to cruise line loyalty programs

Norwegian Cruise Line offer

Norwegian Cruise Line has two new Amex Offers. The first one is for a whopping 15,000 points after spending $500 or more. TPG values Amex points at 2 cents each, making this offer worth $300. I spotted this offer on my American Express® Green Card, while Ewen found it on his Platinum Card® from American Express as well as his Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.

The information for the Amex Green Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

graphical user interface, text, application, email: Screengrab from American Express © The Points Guy Screengrab from American Express

The second offer is for a $150 statement credit after spending $500 or more, which I saw on my Platinum Card® from American Express. Note that both offers are only valid for qualifying reservations from now through Dec. 31, 2020, and they must be booked at NCL.com or by calling 1-888-438-7114. The offers exclude purchases onboard, Norwegian gift cards, shore excursions and transportation to and from the ship.

graphical user interface, text, application, email: Screengrab from American Express © The Points Guy Screengrab from American Express

While these offers expire Dec. 31, the actual cruise you book can be for any future date. This is especially important to note, since Norwegian Cruise Line has canceled sailings through Oct. 31 — and some travelers may be hesitant to hop on a cruise ship any time soon. Just be aware that your initial deposit may not be enough to reach the $500 spending requirement above, so be sure to submit an additional payment on your targeted card prior to Dec. 31 so you don’t miss out on the offer.

Related: Sea changes: A preview of the new COVID-related cruise restrictions

In addition, given the rash of cruise cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic, you may be worried about booking a future sailing. Will it actually happen, or will the line even still be in business? The good news is that most major lines (including Norwegian) are not in imminent danger of bankruptcy. And Norwegian continues to offer flexible cancellation policies for new bookings — though the extent of the flexibility depends on your date of sailing.

How to maximize these offers

It shouldn’t be too difficult to meet the terms of either offer, and with many cruise lines offering unprecedented flexibility for new bookings, this could be a great way to book a prospective trip — with little risk.

Celebrity Cruises

If you’re interested in the Celebrity offer, a four-night cruise for two adults from Fort Lauderdale to Key West and the Bahamas in March 2022 on the Celebrity Millenium will set you back just over $900 — and includes free drinks for everyone in the stateroom through the line’s Book Now Bonus.

letter: Screen shot courtesy of Celebrity Cruises. © The Points Guy Screen shot courtesy of Celebrity Cruises.

This is a massive discount from the retails price — and adding the Amex Offer makes it an even sweeter deal.

Note that there is a minimum nonrefundable deposit for this trip, and it’s just $200, so you’d want to elect to pay $500 during checkout in order to trigger the offer. Then the remaining $414.94 wouldn’t be due until Dec. 2021.

Norwegian Cruise Line

If you’re instead interested in Norwegian, A five-day cruise on the Norwegian Getaway in February starts at just $530 per person (based on double occupancy) and includes stops in the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.

graphical user interface, website: Screengrab from NCL.com © The Points Guy Screengrab from NCL.com

Select categories of staterooms even include a variety of complimentary add-ons — including open bar and credits toward shore excursions and onboard Wi-Fi.

Related: When will cruise ships resume sailing? A line-by-line guide

Other ways to save on cruises

In addition to keeping your eyes peeled out for Amex cruise offers, The Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders can enjoy unique benefits when booking through the Amex Travel Cruise Privileges Program. You’ll enjoy up to $100–$300 onboard credit per room booked, 1 extra Membership Reward point per dollar spent and additional amenities unique to each cruise line.

Just note that such a reservation likely won’t trigger the above offers — since the terms indicate you must book directly with the given lines to be eligible.

Featured photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises.

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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